Expanding your transit choices

Expanding your transit choices
Expanding your
transit choices

      2020 Progress Report

Expanding your transit choices
Doubling your destinations
within the next 5 years
Eastside residents:

During the next five years, Sound Transit is dramatically changing
how we all get around the region.

From 2021 to 2024, we’ll more than double your Link light rail destinations,
opening new service to Northgate, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Federal Way,
Redmond and the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma. Also by 2024, we’ll
launch new Stride bus rapid transit on I-405, SR 518, SR 522 and
NE 145th, and open new parking and access improvements at
Sounder stations.

At the same time, we’re advancing other Link and Sounder projects
described in this report, making it easier for you to get to work and home
and to Seahawks games, college classes and Tacoma Dome concerts.

This progress report is just one way for us to stay in touch. For more
information, check out our website, subscribe to updates and get involved
with the projects that interest you most.

Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO


More inside:
pg. 2-6         Milestones we’re meeting to bring new transit
                to the Eastside
pg. 7           The system we’re building, including timelines
                for new service
pg. 10-11       Tips for riding Sound Transit and where we can take you
pg. 12-13       How we finance construction and operation
                of the expanded system

At Sound Transit we are connecting more people to more places to make life better
and create equitable opportunities for all.
Expanding your transit choices
More transit coming to the Eastside
   Link light rail                                                                     Stride bus rapid transit
   East Link Extension                                                                 service on I-405 and
   (in construction)                                                                   SR 522 starts in 2024
   New downtown                                                  Totem Lake/                                                        pg    6
   Bellevue tunnel                                               Kingsgate
   Downtown Redmond
   Link Extension
   (in construction)
   South Kirkland–
   Issaquah Link                                                                                    Service to
   (final route to be determined)                                                                   Downtown Redmond
                                                                                                    opens in 2024
   Stride bus rapid transit
   I-405 service (in planning)
                                                              NE 85th                                                                     pg   4
                                                           Kirkland                    Redmond
                                                                                                                   SE Redmond
   New parking
   Existing parking                                                                 Redmond                       New park-and-ride
                                                                 Bridle Trails
                                                                  State Park                                      opens in 2024

                                                                                   Redmond       NE 40th St
                                                                                                                                                   pg   6
    520                              Kirkland
                                                              Spring                          Overlake
                                                              District/                       Village
                                      Bellevue                    Bel-Red/                    Service to
                                    Downtown                      130th
                                                              NE 8th St
                                                                                              Redmond Technology
                                        NE 6th St          Wilburton
                                                       Main St
                                                                                              opens in 2023
                                     East Main
     Lake Washington
                                                                                                                  Lake Sammamish

                                        South                             Richards
             77th Ave SE
             80th Ave SE

                                      Bellevue                            Road Eastgate


                                                                                 South Kirkland-
                                                                                 Issaquah Link
                                                                                 opens in 2041
   New South Renton
      Transit Center
                                                                                                        pg    4                           Issaquah

pg 6 opens in 2024                                                                                                                      Issaquah
                                                    NE 44th
                                                     Renton                                                                                             N

                                                     Read on for progress updates
Expanding your transit choices
East Link service on schedule
            to open in 2023

Downtown Bellevue to a Huskies game in
31 minutes // Opens 2023
East Link Extension
    	10 new stations including Mercer Island, South Bellevue, Downtown Bellevue,
      the Spring District and Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood.
    	1,400 additional parking spaces, local transit routes as well as bike and
      pedestrian paths to connect riders to stations.

        2019 progress
        •   Completed I-405 and I-90 overpasses.
        •   Finishing work on downtown Bellevue tunnel.
        •   Laying track on I-90 floating bridge.
        •   Restoring wetlands near Mercer Slough, Kelsey Creek and other
            construction sites.

        2020 look-ahead
         omplete construction of Mercer Island, Overlake Village and Redmond
        Technology stations.

        Subscribe for the latest news and project updates:
Expanding your transit choices
Downtown Bellevue
to Marymoor Park in
15 minutes // Opens 2024
Downtown Redmond Link Extension
 	2 new stations: SE Redmond
   near Marymoor Village and
   Downtown Redmond.
 	1,400-stall parking garage at SE
   Redmond, local bus routes and easy
   pedestrian and bike access from
   nearby trails.

        2019 progress
        • Selected contractor to finalize
          design and build the project.
        • Celebrated project groundbreaking.

        2020 look-ahead
       Early construction activity.

South Kirkland to
Issaquah in about
25 minutes // Opens 2041
South Kirkland – Issaquah Link
   New light rail line serving seven stations.
   Planning starts in 2027.

                                                            East Link tracks on I-90 Bridge.

See how we’re solving the challenge
of building light rail on a floating bridge.
                             1 Open the Camera app on
                                your phone.
                             2 Hover over QR code for
                                2-3 seconds.
                             3 Click notification to play video.

In January 2020, we began connecting our new Eastside light rail line to the
existing line in downtown Seattle. Work will continue into March. In 2023, fast
Link service extends to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond. Learn about
service changes during this time at soundtransit.org/connect2020.

Expanding your transit choices
Light rail spurs business development
and affordable housing
The arrival of light rail has encouraged         Across the street from the Spring
many large employers to expand to                District, Sound Transit’s Operations
the Eastside, citing easy access to              and Maintenance Facility East is in
transit for their workers. The Spring            the final stages of construction. When
District is an emerging master-planned           East Link service starts in 2023,
development anchored by a light rail             light rail trains delivering riders from
station. It’s home to REI headquarters,          Redmond to Northgate will come to
Facebook offices, hundreds of                    the OMFE each night to be cleaned,
apartments, and the Global Innovation            serviced and stored before taking to
Exchange, an educational partnership             the rails again by 5 a.m.
between the University of Washington,
                                                 But this project is about more than
Tsinghua University and Microsoft.
                                                 taking care of trains. Sound Transit
                                                 and the City of Bellevue have
                                                 partnered to connect the OMFE
                                                 with the Spring District. When land
                                                 is no longer needed for OMFE
                                                 construction, it will be transformed
                                                 into a range of transit oriented
                                                 development, from affordable
                                                 housing to retail, office and
                                                 public space.

                                                 All will be easy to reach when
                                                 the Spring District/120th Station
                                                 opens across the street, while the
                                                 new adjacent Eastrail will provide
                                                 a convenient connection for those
                                                 walking or biking to the station.

               The Spring District is growing.

Helping you make your connection
In 2019 Sound Transit announced recipients of the first round of System
Access Fund grants for projects that make it easier and more convenient to
get to transit. With funding totaling more than $40 million in this initial round
of grants, we are partnering with local cities and counties to help pay for
pedestrian and bike safety improvements in Kenmore and many other projects.

Expanding your transit choices
Building faster bus connections

Lynnwood to Bellevue in 33 minutes
// Starts 2024
Stride bus rapid transit on I-405, SR 518, SR 522 and NE 145th
 	Stride, a new BRT service, will offer fast, frequent and reliable bus
   travel to destinations on highways and arterials north, east and south of
   Lake Washington.
   Buses run as often as every 10 minutes. Stations will be designed for fast
   arrivals and departures.
   Park-and-ride facilities at new NE 44th and South Renton stations.
   Connects to Link light rail at Shoreline, Lynnwood, Bellevue and Tukwila.

      2019 progress
      • Refined project to take advantage of new Express Toll Lanes,
        cutting Lynnwood to Bellevue travel time by 40%.
      • Conducted outreach to inform and gather comments from
        communities along the route.
      • Performed fieldwork, technical analysis and environmental study.

      2020 look-ahead
      WSDOT starts construction of I-405 Renton-to-Bellevue Widening
      and Express Toll Lanes project, which includes the new NE 44th Stride
      station in Renton.

North Sammamish park-and-ride // Opens 2024
  Up to 200 spaces with local transit connections.

      2019 progress
      Potential sites identified and studied.

      2020 look-ahead
      Determine preferred location in partnership with City of Sammamish
      and King County Metro.
Expanding your transit choices
So much more by 2024                           Complete voter-approved system in 2041

Getting around is
getting easier
                                                    Link light rail
                                              Future service:                                                      2024
                                                                                                                                     2036      Everett
                                                    Everett–Seattle–West Seattle                          Mukilteo
                                                    Issaquah–Bellevue–South Kirkland                                                           2036

   Link to Northgate                                Tacoma Dome–Tacoma
                                                    Community College
   A 7-minute ride takes you from Husky       In service:
   Stadium to the new NHL practice                   Univ. of Washington–Angle Lake                             Lynnwood
   facility at Northgate.                            Tacoma Dome –Theater District               2024
                                                    Sounder trains
2022                                          Future service:
                                                                                                                          Lake Forest
                                                                                                                             Park Kenmore
                                              In service:                                                                                   2024
   Tacoma Link to Hilltop                            Sounder North (Everett–Seattle)                Shoreline
   Grab lunch in the Stadium District                Sounder South (Lakewood–Seattle)
   between classes at UW Tacoma.                                                                                          Northgate
                                                    Bus                                                     2021
                                              Future service:
   More parking                                                                                                                                                    Redmond
                                                    Stride bus rapid transit (BRT)
   New garages at Puyallup (opens 2022)                                                        Ballard         2035
                                                                                                                                              Kirkland                      2024
                                              In service:
   and Sumner (opens 2023) make it
                                                     ST Express bus
                                                                                                                               UW                               2023     North
   easier to leave the car behind and relax                                                                                                  2041
   your way to work on Sounder.                      Added capacity
                                                     Parking improvements
                                                                                           Seattle                                                     Bellevue
                                              2024 Open/completion date
2023                                                                                               2030
   East Link to Redmond Technology                                                                  West                            Island
   Ride from Northgate to the Microsoft                                                             Seattle                                                                  2041

   campus, or hop on at Bellevue’s new                                                                                                                Renton            Issaquah
   Spring District neighborhood or Mercer
   Island and cross Lake Washington to
   downtown Seattle or the U District.                                                                  2024
                                                                                                                                                      South Renton
                                                                                                   Burien                      Tukwila

2024                                                                                                    SeaTac/Airport

                                                                                                           Angle Lake
   Extending Link north, south, east
   Ungrip the steering wheel and fly by                                                                                                       Kent
                                                                                           Kent/Des Moines                                   2024
   traffic on your way north to Lynnwood,
   south to Federal Way and east to
   Downtown Redmond.                                                                                                        2024

   Stride on up to new bus rapid transit                                     Tacoma                 Federal Way                               Auburn
   No schedule needed to get you to                                                                                                          2024
   destinations on I-405, SR 518, SR 522
   or NE 145th St. Step off a Stride bus                                                       Tacoma 2030
   and onto Link light rail at Shoreline,
                                                                   Tacoma                        Dome              Fife
                                                                Community               2022
   Lynnwood, Bellevue or Tukwila.                                  College

   More parking
                                                                        South Tacoma                                        2022              Sumner
   Lots more parking plus new bike
   and pedestrian paths give you more                      Lakewood                                                                                   Bonney Lake
   connections to transit at North
   Sammamish as well as Kent,
   Auburn, Edmonds and Mukilteo
   Sounder stations.                                2036
                                              DuPont                                                      soundtransit.org/2020report
Expanding your transit choices
Transit gives you choices
Link light rail, Sounder and bus rapid transit (BRT) provide fast,
reliable and traffic-free transportation choices. More people each
year are letting go of the steering wheel and instead choosing to:
                        Read the sports section
                        Binge watch that new series
                        Save money for vacation
                        Breathe deeply and enjoy the view
                        Leave the air cleaner

Our region leads the nation
in transit ridership growth
With 28 new light rail stations and new                         2025
BRT service opening in just the next
five years, ridership will continue to                2022       337,800
grow dramatically.                        2018
                             2010         160,200

                            75,500               Daily Sound Transit riders

Transit benefits everyone
Whether you use Sound Transit services or not, the growing network of light rail,
Sounder trains, ST Express buses and BRT lines coordinating with local bus
service improves your daily travel. Given a reliable, comfortable alternative to
driving, hundreds of thousands of people choose transit every day, helping make
travel easier for those who need to drive.

Trains can move more people in less space
Link trains arrive every 4–6 minutes
during peak hours.

1   light rail train
    of 4 cars          10     buses

    (200 people               (80 people
    per car)                  per bus)
                                                      (average 1.6 passengers per car)

How to ride

           Use our mobile-friendly Trip Planner to see where to
Plan       catch your ride and find schedules for your trip.

Pay & Ride
To ride Link or Sounder, use the ticket machines at the station to buy:
           ORCA card                                           Single ticket
           It’s the easy way to pay for multiple               Pay with cash or
           rides on Sound Transit and other                    card to purchase a
           local transit services.
                                                               single ticket.
           Buy a pass for unlimited rides or
           load cash value to pay as you go
           and save on transfers.

To ride an ST Express bus

           ORCA card                               Exact change
           Tap your ORCA card                    Pay with exact change
             when boarding.                        when boarding.

To ride Link, Sounder and ST Express bus
           Transit GO Ticket app
           Buy your single ticket anywhere with the Transit GO Ticket app.
           Don’t forget to activate your ticket before boarding and
           show your screen to the fare enforcement officer if asked.

Senior or disabled reduced fare
The Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) is available for those over
the age of 65 and riders with disabilities. Apply for an RRFP card at an
ORCA customer service office. The card is free.

ORCA LIFT for income-qualified riders
If you qualify, you can save up to 66% on Sound Transit and many other
local transit services with an ORCA LIFT card registered to your name.
It works just like a regular ORCA card. Go online to learn how to qualify.
Apply for a card at an ORCA customer service office.

Ride tip                    Connect to new light rail stations
When riding Link or         Catch a bus to the train
Sounder trains, tap your    Sound Transit is coordinating with King County
ORCA card on a yellow       Metro and Community Transit to get you to
card reader at the start    fast, reliable light rail and Stride BRT when
and end of your trip.       those services open on the Eastside. Check
ORCA calculates the         the Trip Planner for your most direct route.
cost of your trip and
                            Find Eastside transit parking
deducts that amount
                            Locations are listed on our website.
from your account.
On buses, tap the reader    Safely walk, bike or get dropped off
by the driver. No need to   Bike and walking trails as well as pick-up and
tap off a bus ride.         drop-off locations offer easy ways to access
                            transit. Scope out your local station online.

Voter-approved transit funding

Paying for transit construction, operations and maintenance takes a combination
of local taxes approved by voters, as well as grants, proceeds from debt, fares
and other miscellaneous sources. Local tax sources include Sales and Use Tax,
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, Property Tax and Rental Car Tax.

Funding sources and uses: 2017–2041 (in billions)
        Sources: $97.9B                                  Uses: $97.9B

                                                                Operations and
                                                                 maintenance       of good
                                       Federal                                     repair
                                       grants                       $23.9
     Local taxes                                                                   $5.9
       $64.5                                       Light rail
                       Debt                                              Debt
                                                     $42.5              service
                       $17.9                                                      Reserves
                                                                         $15.6    and other

          Fares             Interest                                              Bus rapid
       and other            earnings                                              transit
             $7             $0.5                                                  $2.1
                                                    Regional             Sounder $3.4
                                                 express bus
                                                          $1             Tacoma Link $1.2

2020 Sound Transit Board of Directors
Eastside representatives

Kent Keel, Chair,                                Joe McDermott,
University Place Councilmember                   King County Council Vice Chair
Dow Constantine, Vice Chair,                     Roger Millar, Washington State
King County Executive                            Secretary of Transportation
Paul Roberts, Vice Chair,                        Ed Prince, Renton Councilmember
Everett Councilmember                            Kim Roscoe, Fife Mayor
Nancy Backus, Auburn Mayor                       Nicola Smith, Lynnwood Mayor
David Baker, Kenmore Mayor                       Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive
Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair      Dave Upthegrove, King County Councilmember
Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive          Pete von Reichbauer,
Jenny Durkan, Seattle Mayor                      King County Councilmember
Debora Juarez, Seattle Councilmember             Victoria Woodards, Tacoma Mayor

Pressures on project costs
The region’s hot construction market is increasing costs of labor, land and
materials. As a result, Sound Transit has updated its financial plan to assume
higher rates of inflation. Despite recent cost increases, projects remain on
timelines consistent with voter-approved plans.

Background on Motor Vehicle Excise Tax collections
Initiative 976, adopted last November, seeks to reduce certain state and local
vehicle license taxes. The initiative allows, and state law requires, Sound
Transit to continue collecting its current voter-approved Motor Vehicle Excise
Tax and its Rental Car Tax until all bond and other debts secured by the taxes
are repaid. The initiative seeks to have Sound Transit accelerate repayment of
these bonds and other debts, at which point the Sound Transit MVET could
be reduced or eliminated.

At the Sound Transit Board’s direction, the agency will continue to monitor
recent litigation initiated by other jurisdictions to determine whether I-976 is
constitutional and enforceable, and will evaluate legal issues specific to
Sound Transit.

To repay its bonds and debts early, Sound Transit would have to collect
additional taxes and divert revenues from transit projects in order to pay the
cost of bond defeasance, refinancing or retirement. In addition, early bond
and debt repayment in order to eliminate a projected $7.2 billion in MVET and
Rental Car Tax revenue would require cutting or significantly delaying projects
and services described in this report.

As of printing this report in mid-January, the agency is also defending against
two other lawsuits that seek to reduce or eliminate Sound Transit’s MVET.
Updates on developments related to the MVET, including further information
on implications if agency revenues were reduced, is available at

Benefit of sound financial management
Because of our history of strong financial management and clean audits,
Sound Transit enjoys one of the highest bond ratings of any transit
agency in the country, allowing us to obtain loans at lower interest rates,
which saves taxpayer dollars.

Tax rollback
After the voter-approved capital projects in ST3, ST2 and Sound Move
are completed and all debt is retired, Sound Transit will implement a tax
rollback to a level necessary to pay for permanent operations, including
system operations and maintenance, fare administration, capital
replacement, and ongoing systemwide costs and reserves.


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